Pentoxifylline attenuates stored blood-induced inflammation: A new perspective on an old problem

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BackgroundBlood transfusion is a risk factor for many inflammatory processes. Its supernatant fraction has been proven to activate neutrophils. We hypothesized that pentoxifylline (PTX) would attenuate stored blood-induced neutrophil activation and pro-inflammatory mediator production.MethodsWhole blood was incubated with HBSS, LPS (100 μg/mL), leukoreduced PRBC supernatant + LPS, or supernatant + LPS + PTX (2 mmol/L). TNF-α levels were measured by ELISA. MMP-9 was evaluated with zymography. Neutrophil CD66b expression was determined by flow cytometry in blood treated with HBSS, fMLP (1 μmol/L), supernatant + fMLP, or supernatant + fMLP + PTX.ResultsTNF-α levels were elevated in both the LPS and supernatant + LPS groups (100%; P < 0.01 and 120%; P < 0.01, respectively). PTX administration resulted in a 106% decrease in TNF-α (P < 0.0001). MMP-9 levels were increased in all groups. Administration of PTX to the supernatant + LPS group generated a 33% decrease in MMP-9 levels, which was not statistically significant (P < 0.4). Upregulation of CD66b expression was seen in LPS and supernatant + LPS groups. Significant attenuation was seen with PTX (47%; P < 0.01).ConclusionsPTX downregulates CD66b and TNF-α expression in supernatant-induced whole blood. Because blood transfusion can contribute to inflammatory injury, the adjunctive use of PTX may have therapeutic potential.

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